Carl Hooper and Shivnarine Chanderpaul: Architects of a memorable win
West Indies have been through some dark times recently, losing at home
and away, leaving one wonder about the glorious past of a great
cricket team that was almost invincible for a decade. The famed
fast bowlers and the batting legends have all retired; the one
remaining warrior, Brian Lara is injured. Things could not have been
any worse for the once mighty Windies team.
West Indies had lost its previous two encounters against India in the
triangular series for the Coca Cola Cup. They went into the final
against the favourites India at Harare Sports Club on Saturday,
knowing too well that their batsmen will have to produce the goods.
Windies skipper Carl Hooper who is leading their renaissance lost the
toss to his Indian counterpart Sourav Ganguly. The ever-confident
Indian captain did not hesitate to ask West Indies to bat first.
Daren Ganga played a blitzkrieg of 71 off just 62 balls and gave his
team a great launch by adding 86 runs for the first wicket with Chris
Gayle (43). West Indies lost a couple of quick wickets and were 130/3 in
the 25th over. It was a crucial time of the innings, as Windies could
not afford to lose any more wickets and yet had to keep the scoreboard
The two batsmen in the middle were the senior most batsmen from
Guyana, Carl Hooper and the left-handed Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The
two batsmen consolidated by picking up the runs in singles
and twos. In the 29th over Hooper showed signs of aggression by
pulling Sodhi for a boundary. More was to follow in the next over,
Hooper smacking Shewag for a huge six over mid-wicket.
Chanderpaul too got into the act by striking a boundary each off
Shewag and Ganguly. There was no stopping the two batsmen as they went
on accumulating runs by easing the ball through the gaps in the field;
the fifty partnership came up in just 8.4 overs. Hooper took complete
control of the situation, not wasting any time to bring up his half
century off just 46 balls.
The two batsmen raised their 100 runs partnership in 17 overs.
Chanderpaul was the slower of the two batsmen as he took 62 balls to
get to his well deserved fifty. In the same over, Chanderpaul fell to
Nehra, bowled while trying to play across the line. Chanderpaul scored
50 off 64 balls with the help of three boundaries. The fourth wicket
partnership yielded 108 runs in 18.4 overs. As it transpired at
the end of the day, this turned out to be the match winning partnership
for West Indies.
Hooper went on to make 66 off 63 balls with the help of three
boundaries and a six, before being caught by Harbhajan Singh off the
bowling of Zaheer Khan. West Indies made 290/6 in 50 overs, Ridley
Jacobs (26*) playing yet another cameo. Later in the day West
Indies went on to celebrate a great victory by restricting India to
274/6 in 50 overs. Corey Collymore (4/49) was indeed the hero of a
resounding win. Hooper and Chanderpaul take the honours for the best
partnership of a memorable day which saw West Indies taking the Coca Cola